Goals for Year 26

It’s official – I’m old! Well, older. I’ve just turned 26, and like any freshly minted 26-year-old Californian, I celebrated with cheap Mexican food, some good wine, a good book, a stunning beach view, and a few people I care deeply about.

I’ve shared an exposed look at my personal finances at 25, and now that the wine and salt water are out of my system, I’m starting to think about what my next big steps will be.


I’m closer to my nuclear family now than I’ve ever been, and I’m so thankful and happy for it! In terms of personal fulfillment and quality of life, things are feeling better than, well, ever. I love my home and want to continue making it my own. I’m driving less than 25 minutes a day for work, and spending a decent amount of time with friends.

I have, however, fallen out of touch with a few of my hobbies. This will be the year I get back into painting and pole, and maybe even start with new circus-related classes!

And while I donate money to a few groups that I really care about (looking at you, Ocean Conservancy and Planned Parenthood!), I haven’t been as active with social advocacy groups and volunteering as I was before I started my house search. 26 is the year I get back on that horse!

Also, I’ve recently started to zero in on my carbon footprint, but I want to take this year to really go green.

So, my personal goals for this trip around the sun include:

  • Paint at least every month
  • Practice pole at least twice a week
  • Volunteer meaningfully at least every other month
  • Reduce my household’s waste to one garbage bin and two recycle bins per month – tricky with a renter, but hopefully doable!


I came into my current company after a true nightmare experience with my last, and took a small pay cut to do it. The opportunity is huge here, and I’m so happy to be with this new team, but I want to work my way up.

We’re coming into our performance review season (how I know I’m no longer in Kansas #DatStartupLife anymore), and I’m hoping to walk out of 2017 with a salary comparable to or eclipsing what I was making before.

I also am looking to get more involved with higher-value projects, and carve out my own specialization within the company. I’ve been talking with my manager about this long-term game plan, and hopefully 26 is the year I can start making waves with them!


I’m feeling that countdown towards Financial Independence and Early Retirement! I’m officially just less than 10 years away from my goal retirement — not a lot of time to get it done!

My big goal for 25 was to hit a net worth of 100K, and I’m thrilled to say it happened! For 26, realistically I probably won’t hit 200K (as great as that would be), but I’d love to hit these benchmarks:

Real Estate

Oh, there are so many things I want to do here… Since buying my first home, I’ve built up a long-term wish list of projects to tackle within those walls:

  • Prime and paint the front door
  • Build up a balcony and window garden
  • Furnish (most of) the home
  • Get a kitchen table and chairs
  • Refinish kitchen counters with something beautiful and sturdy
  • Redo the floors in the entryway and laundry room
  • Redo the floors in the half bathroom

And as for things outside of my home, I have big things planned. I want to purchase another home by the end of my 26th year! This time, I’ll be gunning for a rental property that will give me a bit of passive income – just not in Los Angeles…


I was able to hit most of my goals for this past year:

  • Tahoe
  • DC
  • Nashville
  • Portland
  • Ireland (!!)
  • Napa
  • Bonus: Las Vegas

didn’t go to Nebraska for the Solar Eclipse, but I’ll catch the next one. Ireland won my heart for the vacation time.

So, looking forward, I want to visit:

  • New Orleans
  • Mammoth (or anywhere I can fail at snowboarding)
  • Seattle
  • Chicago
  • At least one new country

I’d like that new country to be Thailand, Australia, or maybe Greece? I wouldn’t mind hitting a new continent entirely. I’ll think on it. Luckily I’ll be using my favorite flying hacks to travel affordably.


I’ll be able to check in every step of the way towards my Early Retirement goals thanks to Personal Capital.

I’ve also decided to keep my real estate and travel goal trackers on this site. See them here! I’ll keep a link up on the main menu to hold myself more accountable.

Hopefully we’ll start seeing these fill up as I hit each marker!

My favorite free financial tool I use is M1 Finance. I've previously written about M1's free trades, automatic rebalancing, and easy-to-use interface, but it really does make investing accessible and easy. If you're not already investing in some way, or if you're looking for a tool that makes it easy to manage, I recommend trying it out.

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2 thoughts on “Goals for Year 26

  1. OK I love your blog! I read your About Me page and I love that you’re financially, personally, and professionally oriented. Retiring by 35 is definitely doable and you’re off to a great start it sounds like!!

    • Thank you! I read through your blog today and am so impressed with the actionable career advice you give, and how you went from recruiting to career/life coaching. Stay in touch – I’ve definitely started following CultiVitae!

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